There are three different types of complaints that you may have in your workplace environment:

  • Workload Grievance
  • Article 32 Grievance
  • Health & Safety Concerns

Deadlines: Be sure to check and respect the deadlines set out in the Collective Agreement. Once you have launched a complaint, you are free, at any time in the process, to withdraw your complaint; however, if you wish to pursue your complaint, but do not act within the agreed timelines, you will lose your opportunity to pursue the complaint. 
Article 32.05 A clearly states the consequences of untimeliness: “If the grievor fails to act within the time limits set out at any Complaint or Grievance Step, the grievance will be considered abandoned.”
The time limits set out at the Complaint or Grievance Steps, including referral to arbitration, are calculated by excluding statutory holidays and the period from Christmas Day to New Year’s Day inclusive.
Note that for Article 32, the term “day” refers to a calendar day and not a working day. The imposed time limits can be extended only by mutual agreement of both parties.

Workload Grievance

This would be for any complaints regarding your workload as set out by your Standard Workload Formula (SWF). 

  • The SWF Process describes the Workload Grievance procedure. 
  • The College Workload Monitoring Group (CWMG) provides more information regarding who looks at workload complaints. 

Article 32 Grievance

If your complaint / grievance is NOT a workload issue or a health and safety issue, it would fall under Article 32 (Grievance Procedures) and Article 33 (Expedited Arbitration Process) of our collective agreement. These articles apply to both Full time or partial load employee. 

1. Discussion of Complaint [Complaint process]
You have twenty (20) calendar days to launch a discussion with your immediate supervisor either from the date of the circumstances giving rise to your complaint or from the date on which you became aware or “ought reasonably” to have become aware of the circumstances.

Prior to the discussion, you may wish to discuss the matter with a Union steward or executive officer. They can assist you in determining the validity of your complaint and discuss possible remedies. As well, at any stage of the grievance process you can be accompanied by and/or represented by a Union steward.

2. Supervisor’s Response
Following the discussion, your supervisor has seven (7) calendar days to give you a response to your complaint. We advise that you request a written response.

3. Step One [Grievance process]
If your supervisor does not settle your complaint to your satisfaction, you can choose to launch a grievance, provided you submit your signed grievance within seven (7) calendar days of your supervisor’s response to the discussion. (If you receive no response, you may proceed to the next stage of your grievance.)

You address your grievance to your immediate supervisor, setting forth:

  • the nature of the grievance,
  • the surrounding circumstances, and
  • the remedy sought.

Contact a Union representative to help you formulate the wording of your grievance. The written grievance should be very brief.

4. Supervisor’s Response at Step One
Your supervisor has seven (7) calendar days following receipt of your grievance, to arrange a meeting at which you, a Union steward designated by the Union Local (if requested by the Union), the Dean of your division, and your immediate supervisor shall attend to discuss the grievance.

Following the meeting, your immediate supervisor and Dean will provide a written decision, within seven (7) calendar days, to the Union steward and to you, the grievor. (If you receive no response, you may go ahead to Step Two of the grievance procedure.)

5. Step Two
If you are dissatisfied with the college’s response, you can take your grievance to Step Two. Within fifteen (15) calendar days of receipt of the college’s response you must submit your grievance, in writing, addressed to the college President.

6. President’s Response at Step Two
The President or his/her designee must convene a meeting to discuss the grievance within twenty (20) calendar days of receiving your Step Two request. The college’s decision must be provided, in writing, within fifteen (15) calendar days of that meeting.

7. Arbitration
Should you remain dissatisfied with the college’s decision, following the Step Two meeting you have fifteen (15) calendar days to refer your complaint to arbitration, by notice in writing, to the college.

The Board of Arbitration is composed of three arbitrators: one selected by the Union, one selected by the college, and one (the Chair) selected from a panel of arbitrators agreed to by both parties to the Collective Agreement. The arbitration process can take some time, given the need to schedule meeting dates convenient to all parties. The finding of the majority of the arbitrators is final and binding upon all parties concerned.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact us at Local 556 to discuss your particular situation.

We have taken care in wording this advice. However, in the event of any discrepancy between this advice and the Collective Agreement, please consider the Collective Agreement wording to be accurate.

Health & Safety Complaints

There is a process in place to help correct Health & Safety complaints as they arise. If you have identified a hazard in your workplace, please refer to the Internal Hazard Correction Process Flow Chart. This flow chart will explain the steps required to correct the problem quickly and efficiently.



If you are unsure how to proceed and would like to discuss your particular situation, please contact us at Local 556.